Changes in fungicide sensitivity and relative species abundance in Oculimacula yallundae and O. acuformis populations (eyespot disease of cereals) in Western Europe

Authors

  • S. Parnell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ;
    2. Epidemiology and Modelling Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK; and
    3. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2001 S Rock Road, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34945, USA
      *E-mail: stephen.parnell@bbsrc.ac.uk
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  • C. A. Gilligan,

    1. Epidemiology and Modelling Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK; and
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  • J. A. Lucas,

    1. Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ;
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  • C. H. Bock,

    1. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 2001 S Rock Road, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34945, USA
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  • F. Van Den Bosch

    1. Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, AL5 2JQ;
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*E-mail: stephen.parnell@bbsrc.ac.uk

Abstract

Changing fungicide sensitivities in populations of Oculimacula yallundae and O. acuformis, the species responsible for cereal eyespot in Western Europe, were determined over a 17 year period between 1984 and 2000. The data were collected by Aventis Crop Science as part of their long-term survey to monitor changes in sensitivity to prochloraz and the methyl benzimidazole carbamate (MBC) fungicides in eyespot populations. The results show evidence for reduced sensitivity to both fungicides over the period of the survey. The decline in MBC sensitivity is in agreement with reports of practical resistance (a detectable loss of disease control in the field) to this fungicide which were widely reported from the mid 1980s onward. Prochloraz sensitivity was more complex, with the emergence of a higher resistance category of isolates in the late 1980s and early 1990s which then decreased in frequency towards the end of the survey. This may be partly explained by the introduction and increased use of cyprodinil in the mid 1990s. Although all trends were similar across Europe, differences were observed between the two eyespot species. A higher frequency of O. yallundae isolates showed decreased sensitivity to MBC, whereas decreased sensitivity to prochloraz was at a higher frequency in O. acuformis populations. The relative abundance of the two eyespot species was influenced by their differential levels of fungicide sensitivity, with the ratio increasing toward the species with the highest level of resistance to the prevailing fungicide.

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